Recap: Wolves Defeat Pelicans in Summer League Finale

Zach LaVine said all the right things and played admirably in Las Vegas Summer League (Timberwolves.com)

Zach LaVine said all the right things and played admirably in Las Vegas Summer League (Timberwolves.com)

The Timberwolves finished up their stay in Las Vegas on Friday night, taking on the New Orleans Pelicans. There have been a few up and downs for the Wolves this week and it feels like the product on the floor has taken somewhat of a backseat to the continuing rumors of whether or not Kevin Love will be traded and to which team is the latest to sweeten their offer. That’s a little unfortunate given … you know … live basketball and evaluating young, potential talent for the team.

Our Pups opened up with the following starting lineup: Zach LaVine, Brady Heslip, Matt Janning, Glenn Robinson III, and Gorgui Dieng. Said group got off to a slow start, with the Pelicans jumping out to an 18-8 advantage and forcing Sam Mitchell – tonight’s head coach for the Wolves – to burn a timeout. Further proof of the slow start:

At the end of the 1st quarter, the Pelicans stretched their lead back to an 8 point advantage, 30-22, after the Wolves had cut the 10 point lead in half. The rookies led the way for the Pups, with LaVine and GRIII combining for 13 of the team’s points.

The teams were both very active in the 2nd quarter and the effort was certainly there from both squads.  The Wolves had a brief scare with about one minute left in the half when GRIII went up for a dunk and came down hard on his back when Patric Young fouled him going for the block.  Gorgui Dieng returned the favor a bit at the end of the half, blocking a shot to keep the Pelicans lead at 1, 46-45, going into the break.

Wolves came out hot in the 3rd quarter to take the lead from the Pelicans, with LaVine once again leading the charge by hitting jump shots and getting to the FT line.  The Wolves started what wound up being a 19-1 run towards the end of the 3rd quarter and into the 4th.  They outscored the Pelicans 22-17 in the 3rd and led 67-63.

The aforementioned 19-1 opened things up for the Wolves in the 4th quarter and helped seal a victory to close out their stay in Las Vegas.  Brady Heslip hit a few, quick jumpers during the run and the Pups distributed the minutes to a wider portion of the bench, with Jordan Morgan, Dennis Horner, and DJ Kennedy all receiving extended minutes.

Overall, very solid performances tonight from LaVine and GRIII.  Look for a full review of the #WolvesInVegas next week, where I hope we also have closure on those other rumors floating around this franchise.

If you can’t get enough of the Zach LaVine highlight reel, well here you go:

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